Fetale Obduktionen: Veraltetes Relikt oder nach wie vor ein Goldstandard?

Translated title of the contribution: Fetal autopsies: Relic or still a gold standard?

J. Andruszkow, W. Weichert, T. Braunschweig, R. Knüchel-Clarke, F. Erlmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Fetal autopsy rates are decreasing in Western countries although post-mortem examinations render important information for the parents concerning the cause of abortion and risk of recurrence in future pregnancies. Objective: The intention of the presented study was to analyze the development of fetal autopsies in Germany during the last decade and to review accessible information obtained by fetal autopsy. Material and methods: Reports of fetal autopsies conducted in two German university Institutes of pathology between 2005 and 2014 were evaluated retrospectively. Demographic data and the correlation between clinical diagnoses and autopsy findings were assessed. In addition, differences between spontaneous and induced cases of abortion and differences between the institutes were also documented. Results: Overall, 428 fetal autopsies were performed, whereby the number of autopsies decreased by 24.2% during the study period. Of the examined fetuses 29.7% were induced abortions which as expected exhibited different malformations compared to cases of spontaneous abortion (p < 0.001). There was no evidence of a malformation or other cause of death in 27.1% of the cases and 95.7% of these abortions occurred spontaneously. A discrepancy between clinical and autopsy findings was evident in 6.8% of cases and 3.5% of the autopsy examinations revealed at least one additional malformation compared to the prenatal clinical data. Conclusion: Despite improvements in prenatal diagnostics, fetal autopsies remain an important diagnostic tool even today contributing additional information in a considerable number of cases potentially revising clinical diagnoses.

Translated title of the contributionFetal autopsies: Relic or still a gold standard?
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)438-447
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Fetal autopsies: Relic or still a gold standard?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this